Witchcraft 101: Cleansing Spells

Hello my little witchlings! I’ve been a terrible teacher of late, so I hope you can forgive me. But we’re going to jump right into learning about… Cleansing Spells!

So what are cleansings spells? What do they do? Why are they important? Do I have examples? All excellent questions!

What are cleansing spells?

Cleansing spells are practices used to energetically cleanse your space or your person. A cleansing spell can be constructed from a variety of tools, ingredients, and actions to create the desired effect.

Cleansing spells are used with banishing and protection work. I will go over protections and banishings in their own posts as there is some distinctions between all three.

What do cleansing spells do? (and why it’s important)

Cleansing spells do exactly what they sound like; they cleanse. These spells act as a way clearing vibrations/energy. Some spells will clear all vibrations while some will only affect negative energy.

Clearing energies are important for yourself and tools or objects you use. Cleansing objects, cleansing yourself, and cleansing a space will all require different strategies and tools.

Cleansing can be done in several ways. The main strategies are usually smoke, sounds, water, or earth, which coincide with the elements as well. Depending on what you are cleansing, some of these strategies are better than others; it’s not entirely practical to dump 4 bags of top soil in your living room to cleanse the space.

Adding other ingredients and tools to these strategies can help amplify the intention of cleansing. Rosemary and sage are some of the best herbs for cleansing. Lemon and citrus are great for cleansing and introducing positive energy back into the space (Lemon is one of my all-time, go-to favorites).

Cleansing is a practice that should be done daily, to keep your energy and the space around you clear. Cleansing can be as big or small as you like and since there are so many different strategies, you can mix and match the ones that work for you and your lifestyle.

How to Cleanse

To start, you need to determine what will work best for your lifestyle and needs. I’ll go over all of the types in a moment. For your personal energy, you should try to cleanse daily to keep your energy from being… contaminated by the energy of the outside world. You can cleanse your spaces, like your house, room, or altar space when you feel like it needs it; I recommend at least once a week to keep energy from stagnating and to reduce what energies you may bring home with you.


Cleansing with fire, or smoke, is one of the most common ways to cleanse. We’ve all heard of smudging, the process of using a burning sage bundle to cleanse an area. You can also cleanse with incense. Some people even cleanse themselves with their weed! Remember: It’s always about the intention behind the practice!

For some things, fire or smoke is not an applicable tool for cleansing if the object is flammable, or the environment does not allow for smoke (young children, pets, dorm rooms, rentals, etc).


Using water to cleanse is something we’ve all done before without knowing it! Have you ever taken a nice shower or bath after a rough day and come out feeling much better about everything? That’s a form of cleansing!

Besides a luxurious bubble bath, moon water can be used to cleanse vessels and certain crystals. Check out my post about crystals for some of the ones that can be put in water (WARNING: NOT ALL CRYSTALS ARE WATER-FRIENDLY, RESEARCH BEFORE YOU USE THIS METHOD). Moon water can also be used in actual cleaning of your space by being incorporated into mop water, dish water, homemade cleaning sprays(recipe below for a vinegar based spray for cleaning your actual surfaces).

Not everything can be cleansed in water though, like tarot decks, certain crystal, or anything that isn’t waterproof in general.


Cleansing using the earth is what we commonly refer to as grounding for the personal body. But you can cleanse with actual earth. Earth is a great way to cleanse some of your more needy crystals that aren’t water soluable or for objects that need to be cleansed over time. And you simply bury it.

Yep, that easy. Dig a hole and put your stuff in it to get some of those good Mother Earth vibes.

Of course you will want to be careful for things like Tarot decks, fragile tools like wands if you use that, and small things. And if you’re worried about moisture or dirt ruining your things, you can use the best invention in modern history: the reseable bag.


This is one of the newest and oldest forms of cleansing. Yes, I know that’s oxymoronic..

Sound has been used for generations for cleansing and across cultures. Singing and music have always been one of the things that all people have created and loved and participated in. Music is still something that is scientifically being studied to see how it can affect us (there’s a Mythbusters episode where they test if certain genres of music affect driving ability because of the perceived way the music affects emotions).

My point is, you can use music and sound to cleanse yourself and your space.

Newer techniques include sound bowls, tuning rods, and playing certain frequencies which you can find on YouTube. I’m not sure where all of these came from, with all the associations with the frequencies and the supposed biological benefits. If you have more information or resources, comment below and let me know so I can start looking into it more!


This is a special category, near and dear to me. Smells and aromas are quickly becoming popular in witchy spaces with the popularity of essential oils on the rise with even the greater public. This is also where you can play a little more with what will suit you for cleansing.

Scientifically, there’s been a link associated with memory and aromas, to the point its even a study tip to chew a certain flavor of gum during studying and again at the test to recall information. For witches, correspondences to smells and herbs and colors can vary from witch to witch; some witches think of yellow for intelligence and I feel that yellow is for abundance and a color like orange for intelligence.

Smells can be used in the same way. Think of the different Smells for cleaning products; lemon, apple, lavender, mountain spring, fresh laundry. You pick the scent that suits you and your environment. Do the same thing with candles, diffusers, air freshners, essential oils! If a smell you smells cleansing and refreshing, use that smell to help you cleanse your space and yourself so your brain will actually associate that smell and that place with being cleansed physically and energetically.


  • Smudging with sage (not recommended unless without white sage)
  • Incense
  • Smudging with herbs for cleansing; the same principle as sage smudging by making a bundle of other herbs and burning as you would with sage, just without sage entirely
  • Adding moon water to baths
  • Adding moon water to mop water or dish water
  • Moon water cleaning sprays
    • In a spray dilute white vinegar or cleaning vinegar (both are fine and do the same thing for cleaning) in a 1:1 mix of vinegar and moon water. Add slices of lemon or orange, or lemon juice, to add to the cleaning and cleansing power.
    • You can add most any herb to this base vinegar-water mix to suit your preferences, but when adding essential oils, you may want to dilute them before adding and to test spray a spot that isn’t noticeable in case there discoloring or staining.
  • Dig a hole in your yard if you know where to dig (caution for underground lines and pipes! Call before you dig!)
  • If a yard is not available, or the dirt is frozen over, make an indoor pot of soil with potting soil and a pot.
    • Borrow some room from an already indoor potted plant so you won’t have to explain to nosy housemates why you have an empty pot of dirt
  • Play music
  • Sing loudly
  • Ring bells
  • Bang pots and pans
  • Find one of those youtube videos with the frequencies
  • Invest in a singing bowl, if you feel inclined to do so
  • Light your favorite candles
  • Use some candle wax melts
  • Use those plug-in scent diffusers
  • Add your favorite oil to a diffuser

These are all suggestions, but feel free to look into other spaces and see how other witches do their cleansing and find something that works the best for you.

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